Three of the ‘surplus grants’ that were allocated last year in Sydney resulted in groups of young people developing and producing videos that showcased their creativity or gave expression to their views and feelings about their life situation.

Sharing Our Journeys

The Sharing Our Journeys video was developed by a partnership between Redfern/Waterloo CDAT and WEAVE Youth & Community Services. The idea came out of a CDAT meeting where it was recognised that many of the young people living in the Redfern/Waterloo area have substantial carer responsibilities, either for parents or for siblings.

Although physical disability features, the most common reasons why young people end up in a carer role are the mental illness and alcohol and other drug use of the adults in their lives.

CDAT members heard stories of young people missing out on essential developmental activities like play, sport, recreation and school. With no point of comparison until later in life, it is easy for children to assume that their family situation is normal.

Living in chaotic and stressful family situations where drugs and alcohol are consumed at higher than average rates can result in an early onset of drug use by young people.

Partnering with WEAVE

WEAVE is a non-profit community organisation that has been working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, women, children and families in the City of Sydney and South Sydney areas for over 35 years.

Many of the young people in their programs have significant carer responsibilities and the video features them reflecting on the impact of this in their lives.

Each year WEAVE celebrates Mental Health Month in October with a Mad Pride event. The Sharing Our Journeys video was launched at this year’s Mad Pride celebration at the Commune. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Wise Up

The following week the Wise Up video was launched at Elphinstone Reserve on the South Coogee social housing estate. The video grew out of the regular barbeques that local youth services Youth Off The Streets, Randwick Council, Police, Neighbourhood Centre hold at Elphinstone Reserve.

As with many social housing estates, the changing demographics has meant that the youth population is increasing and youth services are extending their outreach into the estate and experimenting with ways to give local youth a voice in how future youth services get developed.

Partnering with the Elpho Crew

The ‘Elpho Crew’ is a local group of young adolescents, including a few pre-adolescents who worked with Short Black Films to develop the words and action of the video.

The message that our decisions have consequences is one that the crew came up with.

It was filmed around the park at Elphinstone Reserve which is where the ‘premier’ viewing was held. The participants were very intent on the viewing pointing out each other’s appearance as they came up. You can view the video on YouTube. 

Popping Nation

The story of Popping Nation at Marrickville Youth Resource Centre has already been told and can be found on the ADF website as a CDAT case study. Or, you can go straight to the YouTube documentary.